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Emergent topology in photon fluids

Project description

Topological photonics research receives a boost

Materials that harbour topological states – exotic phases of matter – have fascinated condensed matter physicists over the last four decades. So far, the vast majority of topological states observed in solid-state, cold-atom or photons systems have been shown to arise from single particle dynamics. The experimental observation of new topological phases emerging from strongly interacting particles remains elusive. The goal of the EU-funded emergenTopo project is to demonstrate novel topological phases in photonic lattices emerging from interacting photons. To this end, researchers will employ different nonlinear photonics platforms and develop new ultrafast detection techniques to study topological excitations. The project aims to provide a better understanding of the emerging field of nonlinear photonic topological phases of matter.

Objective

The discovery of topological phases of matter has revolutionised the understanding of solid state physics in the past 40 years. Their main hallmark is the appearance of propagating edge states robust to backscattering at the interface between two solids of different topologies. This paradigm has been able to successfully ex-plain electronic phenomena such as the universal edge transport in the quantum Hall effect and the exist-ence of topological insulators. Recently, these concepts have been brought to photonic materials. The flexi-bility to implement engineered Hamiltonians along with the direct optical access to all relevant observables, has made of photonic systems an extraordinary platform for the study of topological phenomena, and prom-ises exceptional applications in integrated photonics.

So far, the vast majority of topological phases observed in any system (solid state, cold atoms or photons) arise from single particle dynamics. The experimental observation of new topological phases emerging from particle-particle interactions remains one of the greatest challenges of topological physics. The first goal of this project is to experimentally unveil novel topological phases in photonic lattices emerging from photon-photon interactions. A second scenario of high potential interest is that of Floquet topological sys-tems, in which topological phases are induced when a trivial system is periodically driven in time. The sec-ond goal of this project is to implement novel topological phases in photonic lattices subject to periodic temporal modulations, and to explore their behaviour in the presence of interactions. To attain these goals, we will employ different photonic platforms with significant photon nonlinearities, and we will develop a new ultrafast detection technique capable of resolving the dynamics of topological excitations. This project will unlock the door to the new field of nonlinear topological photonics.

Host institution

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS
Net EU contribution
€ 1 900 738,00
Address
RUE MICHEL ANGE 3
75794 Paris
France

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Region
Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Links
Total cost
€ 1 999 973,00

Beneficiaries (2)